7 Question Sunday: Applications, Travelling Tips & Minimum Requirements

1. When can I start applying for study abroad programs?

Considering your application as early as possible is the best way to go. After all, the sooner you gain acceptance into a university, the sooner you can arrange your travels.

To avoid disappointment, note down all the relevant application deadlines (set out by your chosen university) in HUGE LETTERS on your calendar.

Application deadlines will be different depending on the school, but generally speaking, for programs starting in the fall (September/October), applications will be open from early in the year (January/February) until the middle of the year (June/July).

2. What if I do not meet the minimum requirements?

For Undergraduate Studies If the student does not have formal qualifications, he/she can undertake a Foundation course, which usually lasts one academic year. Many colleges run the Foundation courses, as do many Universities.

For Postgraduate Studies Students who do not have a formal degree or relevant work experience, but have satisfied the course tutor that they have a flair for the particular course, may be admitted to a Postgraduate Certificate program.

A PG Certificate program usually lasts six months and comprises the first semester of the appropriate master's degree.

On showing good performance in the postgraduate certificate program, one can claim admission to postgraduate diploma and subsequently to a master degree, without any waste of time.

3. Which English language tests are accepted by British institutions?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) is the most preferred English language proficiency test accepted by almost all institutions in the UK and is also advised as per the UK visa rules.

However, globally, UK institutions are open to accepting other proficiency tests as well (do check the official website of your preferred institution for the same).

4. I’ve never travelled alone – do you have any tips?

Travelling alone for the first time can be a little intimidating, but here are a few tricks: Get to the airport early so you’ll have enough time to get through security and to your gate without rushing.

We think it always helps to organize the airport transfer ahead of time – that way, you won’t have to worry about how to get to your host family or residence after your (long) flight.

If you book a transfer service, someone will be at the airport waiting for you, right after you go through immigration and pick up your suitcase.

They will have a sign with your name so it should be fairly easy to spot them – and they will not leave without you. (In case you can’t find them right away, you can check your travel documents for their phone number.)

5. What type of luggage should I bring?

Suitcases with wheels are easy to lug around. If you know that you’ll travel a lot at your destination, a big backpack might be a good idea.

Don’t forget to check with the airline about the weight and size limitations for both your check-in and carry-on luggage.

We recommend that you put everything you can’t live without, valuables (laptop, camera, charger), and a change of clothes (in case the luggage somehow doesn’t make it at the same time as you) in your carry-on luggage.

If you plan on going on weekend trips (and we hope you do), make sure you have a smaller bag that you can use.

6. When do I need to be at the airport?

Flights are not like trains, so you can’t just show up five minutes before.

Your arrival time depends on where you’re flying to, and it’s best to check with the airline.

As a general rule: For intercontinental flights, you usually need to be there about two hours before your flight leaves; if you fly over an ocean or to another continent, about two to three hours before is recommended.

It’s better to be there too early to get all of your luggage checked, make it through security, and arrive at your gate with a smile

7. What are the accommodation options available in the UK?

As an Indian student, you can opt for on-campus residence facility or look for off-campus accommodation.

Most universities in the UK offer Halls of residence (self-catered or full-board) for students from other countries.

Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option, however, you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself.